The true story of Ira Einhorn, the Philadelphia antiwar crusader, environmental activist, and New Age guru with a murderous dark side.
During the cultural shockwaves of the 1960s and ’70s, Ira Einhorn—nicknamed the “Unicorn”—was the leading radical voice for the antiwar movement at the University of Pennsylvania. At his side were such noted activists as Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. A brilliantly articulate advocate for peace in a turbulent era, he rallied followers toward the growing antiestablishment causes of free love, drugs, and radical ecological reform.
In 1979, when the mummified remains of his girlfriend, Holly Maddux, a Bryn Mawr flower child from Tyler, Texas, were found in a trunk in his apartment, Einhorn claimed a CIA frame-up. Incredibly, the network of influential friends, socialites, and powerful politicians he’d charmed and manipulated over the years supported him. Represented by renowned district attorney and future senator Arlen Specter, Einhorn was released on bail. But before trial, he fled the country to an idyllic town in the French wine region and disappeared. It would take more than twenty years—and two trials—to finally bring Einhorn to justice.
Based on more than two years of research and 250 interviews, as well as the chilling private journals of Einhorn and Maddux, prize-winning journalist Steven Levy paints an astonishing and complicated portrait of a man motivated by both genius and rage. The basis for 1998 NBC television miniseries The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer, The Unicorn’s Secret is a “spellbinding sociological/true crime study,” revealing the dark and tragic dimensions of a man who defined an era, only to shatter its ideals (Publishers Weekly).
About the author
Steven Levy is editor in chief of the online tech publication Backchannel. Former senior staff writer for WIRED and former chief technology correspondent for Newsweek, he is the author of seven books, including Hackers, Insanely Great, Artificial Life, The Perfect Thing, and Crypto. His most recent book is the New York Times bestseller In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives.
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